March 8, 2013
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Maya Pressley finished a career-best fourth in the women's high jump and Auburn had two men reach the finals in the 60 meters on day one of action Friday at the 2013 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships at the Randal Tyson Track Center.
"Everybody we brought to this meet is going to score and be a first team All-American, so you have to be happy with that," Auburn head coach Ralph Spry said. "The only thing that would've made it better would have been a bigger group. This was a tough outdoor season, but I'm proud of the group that is here and the success they had. We still have a chance to do more work tomorrow and finish strong.
"I'm really, really excited for Maya. She didn't have the SEC meet she wanted, but she's really come through the last week. Coach Clayton felt good about where she was at and she had a huge night. That will carry through to outdoors for her."
Senior Maya Pressley finished fourth overall to score five points in the women's high jump and established a new overall career best with her clearance at 6-0.5 (1.87m). The Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.-native was perfect on her first five attempts, including the new personal best.
"I'm excited," Pressley said. "I felt good coming in and didn't feel any pressure. I came in as an underdog and I felt like I had nothing to lose and that I just had to jump my life out for my senior year. Coming off a PR at last chance and a bad SEC meet, I felt like I made some adjustments and they were really working. I knew today would be special."
She then missed three times at 6-2.75 (1.90m), a mark that would have established a new program record for the Tigers. Her clearance at 6-0.5 ranks third all-time and is the best mark for an Auburn woman since 2009.
The mark from Friday is also greater than her previous outdoor personal best of 6-0.75 (1.85m).
"I feel like it is all uphill from here going into outdoors," Pressley said. "This gives me a lot of momentum. I've never been that great of an indoor performer, but knowing that I was jumping higher indoors tells me that I will definitely jump higher than 1.87m outdoors. I'm excited about that and ready to get going."
Pressley's fourth-place finish is her highest career finish at an NCAA meet, indoors or outdoors, improving upon her eighth-place performance at the 2011 NCAA Indoor Championships also in Fayetteville. 2011 was her only other indoor championships appearance.
The lone action for Auburn on the track was the men's 60 meters with both Harry Adams and Marcus Rowland competing. Despite odd circumstances with a false start in each heat, both men advanced with Rowland reaching the finals on time in 6.58 seconds and Adams via a second-place finish in his heat in 6.63 seconds.
"It feels great to finally make the finals as a senior," Adams said. "After all those false starts it was tough, so I didn't have my best start, but I came on strong at the end. Hopefully, tomorrow will be a better day for me."
Rowland's mark of 6.58 equals his personal best set at the 2010 NCAA Indoor Championships and ranks third in Auburn history. Adams' mark is a season high for the Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. native.
"I kept telling myself when I came back that I wanted to run healthy, because when I'm healthy I run fast," Rowland said. "I stuck with it and I knew my time would. I felt good warming up and luckily I tied my PR. Hopefully, I'll keep feeling good and keep running well.
"It feels good to be in the finals with Harry. We see each other as brothers and just doing it with someone that close to me is really special."
The other competitor for the Tigers on Friday was junior Stephen Saenz. The 2012 Olympian scored three points for Auburn in the men's shot put with a sixth-place finish on Friday. The junior recorded a long throw of 62-10 (19.15m) to finish in sixth overall in his third NCAA Indoor Championship meet.
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